Institute of Music for Children


780 Salem Avenue
Elizabeth, NJ 07208
County: Union


Ms. Alysia Souder

Grant Amount


Program Area



Grant Details

For general operating support for afterschool, summer, community arts education, and youth leadership programs for Elizabeth area students and their families.

Organization Background

The Institute of Music for Children enhances artistic expression and appreciation in over 900 New Jersey youth annually by offering economically accessible, high-quality arts training in a creative and nurturing environment.

Guided by its vision of H.A.R.M.O.N.Y. - Helping Achieve Responsible, Motivated, Optimistic, Neighborhood Youth - the Institute is building a community of high-achieving citizens who are arts lovers and arts makers through professional instruction, mentorship, and family engagement.

The Institute was founded in 1995 in reaction to cuts in arts programming in the over-crowded and under-funded Elizabeth, NJ school system. The Third-Westminster Presbyterian Church established the Institute to provide community families with a means of pursuing affordable artistic training in a secure environment. In order to maximize the potential of the organization, the Institute was incorporated in 2003.

Today, the Institute is New Jersey's fastest-growing arts-based youth development organization and has been awarded three Citations of Excellence from New Jersey State Council on the Arts (NJSCA) in 2014, 2015, and 2016.

The Institute's core programming includes group and individual arts instruction through its Afterschool and Summer Institutes, as well as through its partnerships with area schools, churches, and social service organizations as part of its Community Institute. In addition, the Institute provides specialized programming to teens and young adults through its Friday Teen Arts Nights, a safe and productive environment for teens to learn, create, and support one another, and Youth Leadership Institute, which hires young adults to work as office and classroom assistants and provides them with financial and employment training and college preparatory workshops.

The Institute is the only outside-of-school performing arts organization in the area, and students are never turned away based on financial need. The Institute broadens participation in the arts among underserved communities through its tuition assistance and scholarship programs, providing all materials and orientations in both English and Spanish, and focusing its residency programs in urban locations.

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